Product Designer 3D Prints Smart Trash Can Prototype to Reduce Food Waste

- Jul 10, 2019-

Product design engineer Daniel Lloyd wants to tackle the UK’s food waste problem by creating a smart trash can which enables users to easily monitor their waste.

“The overall aim of this project is to reduce waste and increase recycling,” explains Lloyd’s website, Daniel by Design. “Research clearly shows the key factor impacting all domestic waste is a lack of knowledge and accountability.”

In the UK, around eight tons of food goes to waste every year, costing families an average of around £810 per year ($1,014). To cut this waste, Lloyd’s smart bin uses a system to monitor the mass and volume of what a user throws away. It then turns this into easy-to-understand analytics on how to reduce waste by changing behavior over time.

To display his smart bin to customers, Lloyd developed a semi-functional 3D printed prototype by working with Ogle Models, a Hertfordshire-based company specializing in rapid prototypes and 3D models.

Developing a Semi-Functional Smart Bin Prototype

Ogle Models first helped Lloyd improve his 3D model, by increasing the wall thickness of the smart bin. Next, they used an SLA iPro 8000 to print the model all in one go.

The next step was to smooth the resulting print and paint it. The 3D printed smart bin prototype required precise finishing and lid movements, both of which Ogle Model achieved.

The resulting 3D printed model was displayed at the Food Waste Container at One Year In, New Designers 2018. Lloyd secured funding for the project from Our Bright Future program, ‘The Environment Now” and continues to attract interest from public and private sector organizations.

As for what’s next for Lloyd, he says he’s “working towards developing a company that specializes in sustainable and social impact projects.”